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Commissioners add code enforcement officer

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By Brian Slattery

BOLIVIA—County commissioners are a week away from hearing the results of a salary study that’s been in the works for the past six months.

But at Monday’s county meeting, they decided one position couldn’t wait another day.

County manager Marty Lawing reported that due to recent economic conditions, the code enforcement office staff has dwindled from a one-time high of three officers, one administrator and an assistant to only one officer and an administrator.

With only one person in the field to handle calls, they can’t meet all the code enforcement needs in the county.

So Lawing proposed reclassifying the administrator role to an officer.

“It would have more impact if we had another code enforcement officer. Rather than have an employee sitting in the office, they can be out in the field,” Lawing said.

Commissioners questioned whether the code enforcement position needed immediate attention when board members will hear a full presentation on job reclassification needs from Evergreen Solutions at the county budget workshop Feb. 28.

“Any reason not to wait until after Evergreen makes its presentation?” commissioner Frank Williams asked.

Lawing said there was no other reason than anticipating filling the position by May.

The county could begin advertising the position next week with commissioners’ approval.

“If there is no hurry to reclassify (code enforcement), I want to hear what Evergreen says about it,” commissioner Pat Sykes said.

But commissioner Scott Phillips pointed out the reason it was brought up was because there is a need to fill the position.

“One developer has had 35 violations. The code enforcement operation is complaint driven,” chairman Phil Norris said. “There is a desperate need for that position to be filled.”

Phillips added if the staff has been bare bones and a minor change can help improve its efficiency, he supported it. He made a motion to approve the job reclassification.

Commissioners approved the move 4-1. Sykes voted against it, saying she would rather wait for the salary study.

Board members also decided to host a budget workshop in the commissioners’ meeting room in the David R. Sandifer buildingCounty Administration Building at 30 Government Center Drive in Bolivia.

“I recommend we have (the budget workshop) here. We have the audio system, good lighting, a lot of good things going on here. It’s the perfect place for it,” commissioner Marty Cooke said.

“There’s a benefit to the way we’ve done it in the past. It’s less formal,” Norris added.

Cooke said past budget retreats have been in buildings that did not allow enough room for commissioners and staff, much less anyone interested in attending the meeting.

Cooke made a motion to have the budget meeting in the commissioners’ meeting room, which was approved 4-1, with Norris voting against it.

 

Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.